Ground Mounted Solar Panels vs Roof: Things To Know

After making a choice to go solar and buy solar cell panels, you must decide where to place them. Will it be a roof-mount solar rack or a ground-mount array?

The key differences between ground and roof-mounted solar panels:

1️⃣ Ground mount solar systems are more expensive than roof-mounted panels.

2️⃣ Roof-mounted panels have more hassle when you install them and want to work on them. You can easily access the ground-mounted panels.

3️⃣ You place roof-mounted panels in a space you never use, but ground-mounted panels need space in the yard.

Either way, you should choose an area with no shade that gets plenty of sun throughout the day. If the site doesn’t get sun, you won’t have power.

Let’s dive into this topic some more.

⚖️ Ground Mounted Vs. Roof Mounted Solar Panels

After buying your panels and solar system, you must decide where to place your solar panels.

You will need to access your home and yard around it to decide the best option.

The two solar mounting options are roof mount and ground-mounted systems. Roof mount systems adhere to brackets attached to your roof, while ground mount systems mount into a foundation on the ground of your residence.

While most solar panels are on the roof of a house, many people decide to install them on the ground these days.

Overall Size

Each solar panel mounting type will need a certain amount of space.

While the rooftop solar panels are easy to place on the roof, you must make space for the ground-mounted panels. You can generate about 15 watts of solar energy from a given square foot of roof space.

To adequately offset electricity usage, installing solar panels on a large property can require more than 1,000 square feet of roof space. In comparison, a smaller home may only need approximately 200 square feet.

Ground-mounted panels require an area not covered in the shade, and no other constructions should block it.

If you intend to put 20 solar panels, you will need approximately 360 square feet of unobstructed space, as each panel covers about 18 square feet.

Average Cost

The cost of each system and panel type varies, and you need to consider the amount you have to pay the installers.

Before tax credits and subsidies, a 5 kW ground-mounted system can cost around $25,000 without installation.

Roof-mounted panels cost roughly $15,000 to $25,000, with installation included. The price is also before any tax incentives or credits.

Ground-mounted panels require more work and as well as more parts, and therefore, rooftop systems are the cheaper option.

Accessibility And Installation

Ground-mounted systems are easily accessible and have room for future expansion projects.

You can clean the ground-mounted panels more easily than roof mounted.

Ground-mounted panels are also better to install. While they have more work to install, they are easily installable on the ground.

Roof-mounted panels are hard to reach and also hard to install.

Workers have to climb on top of the roof to fit them, and you have to as well when you clean or check the panels.

🏆 Is Ground Mount Or Roof Mount Better?

Because they utilize the preexisting roof structure, roof mounts are more cost-effective. They are also more space-efficient.

Although ground mounts require more room, they may be set up and fixed more quickly.

Roof-mounted is also a better option, as you can access the sun more than on the ground.

However, there isn’t a better option as both choices have pros and cons, depending on the space available in your yard.

🎭 Benefits And Drawbacks Of Each

Both mounting solutions have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing one over the other will depend on the specifics of your project.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of roof-mounted solar panels

Benefits of roof-mount solar panelsDrawbacks of roof-mount solar panels
You can use the unused space for something effectiveObstacles can be in the way, like chimneys and skylights
Panels aren’t in the wayHard to reach when you need to
Cheaper to installCan damage more easily
High sun exposureBuildings and trees might be in the way of the panels.

Here are some benefits and drawbacks of ground-mounted solar panels

Benefits of ground-mount solar panelsDrawbacks of ground-mount solar panels
No restrictions on the roofNot aesthetically pleasing
Easily accessibleCostly
Use the area under the panels for storageIt takes up lots of space

⚠️ What You Need To Know About Ground-Mounted Panels

Ground-mounted solar panels are great in many ways.

If you have enough space, you can place the panels out of sight so they won’t be in your way. You will need about 18 square feet per solar panel.

You can then determine how much space you need according to the number of panels you will acquire.

The ground-mounted systems involve a request to local zoning, environmental, and many other things, including local rules.

The ground-mounted systems need additional wires to connect to the system as they must be longer.

If your property is situated on bedrock, you may need to use a roof-racking system, because the soil is unfeasible to dig

The price of installing a ground-mount system might rise in areas with challenging terrain. It’s not out of the question, but you will need to rent some severe machinery to bore through the earth.

🚨 What You Need To Know About Roof-Mounted Panels

Roof-mounted panels are the most popular option for residential applications.

When you decide on roof panels, you should get an expert to look at the roof first, as it could not be up to the task of holding the weight.

Your roof may need to be revised to fit the weight of solar panels, as some roofs decay with age.

An unexpected perk of a rooftop installation is that it shields the roof from damaging factors, including sunlight, wind, rain, and snow.

If nothing prevents the panels from receiving sunlight, roof-mounted solar panels can get more direct sunlight.

❔ FAQs

Are Ground Solar Panels Worth It?

Ground solar panels are worth the price as they are much easier to access and can save money when installing them. You can also use the space beneath the panels for storage or a garden.

You can also get more sun in some ways with ground-mounted panels. The angle can be adjusted more towards the sun as roof-mounted panels only have one orientation.

Ground-mounted solar panels are easy to access and clean as well.

Is Ground-Mounted Solar Cheaper Than Roof?

Ground-mounted solar panels are more expensive than roof-mounted solar panels as they have more parts. But they are much better than roof-mounted ones, and it’s worth spending the extra money and install them.

Ground-mounted panels need extra poles for support and cement for the foundation. As a result, the materials are more, and more labor is included in the process, increasing costs.

Ground-mounted panels can go up to twice the price of roof-mounted systems.

🔑 Key Takeaway

There are many differences between the two mounting options. You will have to access your yard and space to accurately decide which panels you want to install for your solar array. However, both mounting options will ensure you get the most sun to have electricity.

Now that you know which method is best for your property, you should make yourself familiar with solar panel efficiency and these other related topics.

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I’m the website operator and editor here at ALTA Devices. The solar revolution is the most exciting thing to happen in a generation! I’ve written extensively on solar, electric vehicles, and the electrification of the marine industry. You can find out more on LinkedIn below: